National Mining Agenda - April 2013

An updated agenda is available here

The NORA Mining Sector Council considered comments on a previous draft and has finalized the “National Mining Agenda: For Occupational Safety and Health Research and Practice in the U.S. Mining Sector.” This document set forth objectives for a National mining health and safety research program and recommended objectives in seven major areas, including disaster prevention, disaster response, health hazards, ventilation, work organization, systems operation and management, and human factors. While research to address some of these objectives was underway in the NIOSH mining program, the Agenda was meant to encourage independent organizations or collaborative partnerships to tackle objectives that NIOSH was not able to pursue.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. The NAICS Code for Mining is 21. However in NORA the Mining Sector is defined by the industry segments coded under NAICS Code 212: Mining (except Oil and Gas), which includes the coal mining, metal ore mining, and nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying segments of the industry, and those sections that apply to these segments coded under NAICS Code 213: Support Activities for Mining. Although Oil and Gas Extraction is included in the NAICS Code 21, a separate NORA group was formed for the Oil and Gas Extraction industry sector.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) provided preliminary estimates of about 262,000 employees of mining companies in 2012; around 93,000 were in coal mining, 44,000 in metal mining, and 125,000 in nonmetallic mineral mining (Yearly reportsExternal, accessed 15 April 2013). In addition to those employed directly by mining companies, there were also about 125,000 contractors. During 2008-2012, 231 miners and contractors were fatally injured in mines, mills, and prep plants (same MSHA yearly reports) and many more died from respiratory diseases attributed to occupational exposures in mines. In addition, there were about 30,000 lost-time injuries during this same period and of those miners who were examined in the NIOSH’s X-Ray Surveillance Program between 2005 and 2009 that had 25 or more years of experience, the x-rays of nearly one out of every 14 showed evidence of pneumoconiosis (eWorld, Table 2-12, accessed 15 April 2013). The NORA Mining Sector Council developed research objectives aimed at developing the knowledge and technology to prevent the hazards and exposures that lead to deaths, injuries, and diseases in the mining industry.

The NORA Mining Sector Council was interested in comments on the National Mining Agenda. The Council was particularly interested in organizations and individuals who would commit to advancing one or more of these goals through partnerships. Use the following link to review this document. Send all correspondence to the NORA Coordinator (

National Mining Agenda – April 2013Cdc-pdf [PDF – 724 KB]

Contact the NORA Coordinator if you have any questions:

Sidney C. Soderholm, PhD
NORA Coordinator
Page last reviewed: June 9, 2015 (archived document)